4th Time Unlucky… Again – Silver Medal at IPC European Championships in Swansea

swanseaI recently bounced back to medal winning form in Swansea at the IPC European Athletics Championships, taking the Silver Medal in the Men’s F32 Club Throw on Tuesday 19th August.

It was a case of dejavu for me, as just like in the Paralympics at Beijing and in the World Championships at Christchurch, was denied a 4th consecutive title. I guess 4 just isn’t my lucky number.

Having won at all three previous IPC European Championships dating back to 2003, I set out my defence on the first morning of the games held in Swansea.

A strong field of 10 athletes made for a tense and tight competition. I produced a best throw of 30.68m and was in the lead until Vladislav Frolov of Russia threw a massive personal best of 34.10m to push me down to second place. Poland’s Maciej Sochal took bronze with 29.59m, while Britain’s Thomas Green took 4th with a good performance of 28.43m.

The competition featured most of the top ranked athletes in the world this year, and for me it was a return to the medal podium for the first time since having a total hip replacement after the London Paralympics. After the operation I was told there was only a 50/50 chance of competing at the highest level again. The standard was very good as usual in the F32 Club Throw, and the new IPC rules were enforced strictly but fairly by the officials – I think they will only make seated throws fairer and more competitive in years to come, so well done for IPC for implementing them.

swansea2It was a great competition and I really enjoyed being out there mixing it up with the best in the world. I came here to defend my title and I think I could’ve thrown a bit further (as I always  do). The performance of the winner was a shock, but this can happen in disability sport, and it’s happened to me a few times in the past. Overall though I’m happy and proud with another medal. Big thanks go out to Ros my coach, Speedflex, my physio Penny at The Performance Clinic, my chiropractor Andy at ThinkChiropractic, Mannatech, The National Lottery and everyone else who has supported me this year.

This was my 26th international medal spanning 19 years of competing for my country. I competed at the 20th Gateshead Harriers’ Tartan Games on Sunday (24th August) which is also the first anniversary of my marriage to Rachel. Hard to believe it’s been a year as it seems like yesterday, but we celebrated in style at the Hilton with steak and champaigne.

I have one more competition before the season draws to a close, the CP National Championships in Grantham. It’s been a good but frustraiting season in many ways, I feel I’m in the best physical shape I’ve been in for many years but haven’t quite delivered the performance to match that, my consistancy is improving through so I’m aiming to end the season on a high before having a well earned break. It’s a massive year next year with the IPC World Championships in Doha.

Don’t forget the 100% Stephen Miller Exhibition is on display at Gateshead College’s Academy for Sport until 5th September – Get along to it! And if you’d would like to host the enhibition or buy a print contact Dan Prince – dan@danprince.co.uk – http://www.danprince.co.uk/index.php/news/

Paralympian Stephen Miller Launches ‘100%’ Photo Exhibition Days Before Defending European Crown

Stephen Miller, a three time gold medal winning Paralympian, is all set to defend his European F32 Club Throw title at the IPC European Athletics Championships which are being held from the 18th-23rd August in Swansea. Stephen is bidding to win his 4th consecutive European Gold Medal in Club Throw having won in all IPC European Championships which have been held since 2003.

Before Stephen heads down the M1 to Swansea, he is launching a special photography exhibition called ‘100% Stephen Miller’. The exhibition, which has been crafted by photographer Dan Prince, comprises of photos taken over a two year period. Stephen, who with his wife Rachel founded SMILE Through Sport late last year, is hoping the exhibition will shed some light on the life of a professional sportsperson and can provide some motivation to those who come to see it.

Stephen said “To represent Great Britain again at the IPC European Championships is a huge honour, I’m in good shape and am confident I can deliver a performance to be proud of. Launching the 100% exhibition the week before I go to Swansea will be great, I had a lot of fun working with Dan and the photos look amazing. I hope lots of people will come and see it and get inspired to give 100%.”

The exhibition will be on show to the public at Gateshead College Academy for Sport from 17th August – 5th September. Then it will be on the move to venues all over the North East.

More information is available on Twitter @100PercentSM and on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/100PercentStephenMiller

The aims of the exhibition are to raise awareness of Paralympic sport and also provide inspiration that giving 100% can help you achieve great things.

More Information

Interview opportunity:
Wednesday 13th August 2014
Gateshead College, Baltic Business Quarter, Quarryfield Road, Gateshead, NE8 3BE
Please contact Dan Prince on 07763417346 or dan@danprince.co.uk

This will be Stephen’s last public appearance ahead of the IPC European Athletics Championships.

IPC European Championships have been held in 2003 (Assen), 2005 (Espoo) and 2012 (Stadskanaal). Stephen has attended all three and won Gold at each one. He is one of only three British athletes defending his title in Swansea.

Both Stephen Miller and Dan Prince will be available for interview on Wednesday 13th August. Please contact Dan on 07763417346.